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I’ll Take Internet for $1000 Alex – @Jeopardy SEO

The answer for the clue – “To come up quickly on Google, Companies try to increase SEO, this type of optimization of their web sites” This suggests quick page load speed – but Alex probably meant “quick” as in #1 ranking – and the question Alex accepted was “What is search engine optimization?” It really should have been more clear as Alex usually insists on precision in those answers. The researchers probably heard some advice from their own Jeopardy SEO and didn’t get clarity about page load speed vs. top ranking. 🙂

Webmasters have now certainly heard of those Google notices warning that a site is not mobile friendly and if they haven’t gotten that notice themselves, have at least heard of “Mobilegeddon” panic that spread like wildfire after the Google Webmaster Central Blog post went up in February of 2015. This was the Google warning that mobile page load speed was critical and those site owners that wanted to continue to rank well had better focus on fast loading pages that are mobile friendly. So now you’ve seen the Jeopardy clue and you’ve been clued in. Have you resolved the issue yet?

Google has made it very clear over this past year that page load speed, along with mobile friendliness will be increasingly important ranking signals in their algorithm. Webmasters have gotten the mobile friendliness warnings and are taking them seriously – with many sites turning to responsive design to resolve the mobile concern, but haven’t addressed the speed issue because it takes more tech resources.

Working with several clients on resolving page load speed concerns has shown similar issues
Main culprits:

  1. Multiple large image files per page
  2. Render-blocking javascript (page load stops until javascript calls and functions complete)
  3. Tracking pixels from many sources on each page
  4. Dynamic functions require server resources every page load
  5. No caching of images or dynamic output

Basic Solutions:

  1. Images – Use of CDN’s and lazy load
  2. Javascript – Prioritization & Tag management
  3. Tracking Pixels – Tag management Tools
  4. Dynamic Functions – Cache recent versions
  5. Image page cache – Cache recent versions

Working with some free and some paid tools, each of these can be addressed over time. It is imperative that any outstanding issues are tackled and resolved for fastest possible page load (especially for most popular pages). Your search ranking and site visibility inevitably improve with attention to these details.

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